A Gospel Duo

A young Christian provides rapport with people who are his peers and where you would not be able to communicate.

Scripture: Acts 16, 2 Timothy 1:6


Alright, thank you very much. And hello, friends. How are you? Everything alright at your house? Somebody’s driving to work and somebody’s just getting awake and somebody’s packing a lunch, I know for a fact, and somebody’s getting breakfast and the bacon and the eggs are frying, and my, how good it smells, and so on. And life is rolling along at a rapid clip.

Alright. If you have a chance, just listen and be blessed, and we’ll see what the Lord may say as we look into the 16th chapter of the Book of Acts. Paul came to Derbe, the place where they had tried to kill him and almost succeeded. He found a young man named Timothy, the son of a certain woman who was a Jewess and whose father was a Greek. His mother was saved, it doesn’t say that his father was. She was a Jewess who believed, it says, but his father was a Greek. Now, it doesn’t say that his father was saved. He may have been, I don’t know, but it says indeed that his mother was, and that is a throw back to something else, which I’ll look at in 1 Timothy now with you. Let me find that. He says the unfeigned faith that dwells in Timothy, and not in him only, but it was also in his mother and in his grandmother.

This is 2 Timothy 1. Timothy had a tender spirit and a faithful spirit. “Timothy,” it says, “my dearly beloved son,” and so on. “I have remembrance of thee in my prayer night and day,” Paul didn’t quit praying for the young man after he had trained him and put him in the work. He said, “I greatly desire to see thee being mindful of thy tears.” Timothy had a tender spirit, a tender heart. Oh, what a wonderful piece of equipment that is for Christian work, a compassionate, tender spirit. And he says, “I call to remember the unfeigned faith that is in thee.” Here’s a young man that wasn’t trying to influence anybody or that is to put something over on anyone, it was unfeigned faith. He really believed God. That’s so refreshing to see in our day, isn’t it? Or in any day. Somebody who really believes God.

I think of Dr. Charles E. Fuller laying aside the hat that was offered him when it suddenly began to rain in my rally there in Soldier Field in Chicago a good many years ago. And he said, quite distinctly, “It will not rain. I will not put on my hat. Let us pray.” By the time he had finished a very short prayer, that low-scudding cloud that had dumped some heavy raindrops into the crowd was gone, and you could see starlight above your head. A person who really believes God is so refreshing, isn’t it?

And so Paul said, “Oh, my, I’m just so glad about you. To see you, I would be filled with joy,” and he says, “The joy comes when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,” a young man who really believed God. Let me stop here long enough just to ask you, have you believed God for anything at all lately? Is there anything about which you really believe God, or are you simply wistfully hoping that he may bless you and help you make it safely to social security? Huh? [chuckle] Well, you know, many a Christian is just drifting along and hoping that he’ll make it safe home to Heaven and on the way, be reasonably comfortable and die without pain in somebody’s hospital. It’s a kind of a dumb prospect for life, isn’t it? Do you really believe God for anything? In other words, do you and I have unfeigned faith, or is our faith merely a point of view? The problem with the Christian religion nowadays is that instead of being a miracle, it’s a point of view. It’s not news any longer; it’s the subject of dialogue.

Do you see? The Christian life used to be news in the New Testament days, and it was news during the great awakenings of the various centuries. You can read about them in your history books. It was news when the Wesleys began to preach. Christian life was news when D. L. Moody was preaching, or Charles G. Finney earlier, or Jonathan Edwards earlier. Oh, the Christian life was news then because God was doing something. Unfeigned faith means is God doing anything in my life? Something to think about, isn’t it?

Now, Paul said of Timothy that he had unfeigned faith, but this faith didn’t just happen. He said, “It’s faith that dwelt first in thy grandmother, Lois, and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Then he said, “Timothy, you’ve got a gift of God that is in you, because I laid hands on you. God answered my prayers for you when I laid hands on you and ordained you and you’ve got a special gift. So don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, but be a partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God.” One of these days, I gotta go through Timothy with you and break open some of those verses because they’re marvelous.

Now, Timothy was a special person because he had a special heritage. His father was unsaved, but his grandmother had been saved, and his mother was saved, and he was saved, and he really believed God. A small thought here. Some of you people are living with folk who are unsaved. Wives write to me who say, “My husband is not a Christian, pray for him.” Husbands, believe it or not, write to me and say, “My wife is not a Christian, will have nothing to do with the Lord Jesus, pray for her.” Children, write sadly and say, “My parents are not Christians and life is so hard in our home because they’re not Christians, and I’m trying to live for the Lord. Pray for my father and mother.”

Some of you, my dear friends, are living in a home situation where it’s split out and you are perhaps the only believer in a family group. And oh, it’s so rough now and again. You get a lot of static, a lot of flak, a lot of opposition, a lot of persecution, don’t you? Would you just remember that one of the great leaders of New Testament times, Timothy, came out of a home where in all probability, if we can deduce something here from the text, in all probability, the husband wasn’t saved, but the wife was. And her mother was. And these godly women, you may be sure, were praying that that young boy Timothy was gonna be a man of God.

I know that such prayers are answered because people prayed for me before I was born, that I’d be in God’s service. The fact that I am in his service today is not due to me at all, but to the answered prayer of other dedicated people. I know that. And so I have great respect for the faith of this grandmother and this mother, who, in what was in all probability, a divided home so far as religion was concerned, kept their faith. It was unfeigned faith on their part. They were real.

Now, my dear friend, what I’m saying is you be real, because in your family, you may be the only anchor God has. And so your faith has to be real; it can’t be just a façade, it can’t be just a point of view. It can’t be just a religious position. It has to be real. And if it is real, my dear friend, you can depend on it. God will honor your faith. The Bible says, “Them that honor me, I will honor.” And I used to have a barber friend, Jack Richards, who would quote that verse to me, and he’d stop in the middle of cutting my hair. As he quoted that verse, he’d stop and look at me and whirl the chair around so that he could look me right in the eye and he’d say, “And my dear brother, the more you honor God, the more he’ll honor you.” [chuckle] He’s right.

Timothy, a product of his mother’s and of his grandmother’s prayers and faith. I’ll tell you something. Faith can be passed on to people. Faith can be passed on to people, if you are real. I think the tragedy of many a minister, many a missionary, many a Christian worker, many a Christian leader, a lay leader in the church, is that he or she has faith but they do not succeed in passing it on to their children. It’s just dad’s faith or dad’s work or dad’s meeting, or mother’s work or mother’s meeting or mother’s faith. But oh, the joy of passing your faith on to where your young people are taught, as Timothy evidently had been taught, taught to honor God, taught to believe God, taught, in the very essence of faith, to risk a situation on God. That’s what faith means, risking a situation on God.

Are you teaching your folks that? Are you so real with God that people get that impression when they evaluate your life? That really is what it’s all about. Now, we’re studying in the 16th chapter of Acts, to those of you who’ve just tuned in, and we’re talking about Timothy. Paul came to Lystra, the place where they had tried to kill him, and he found Timothy, a young man who really believed God, who had a life that counted, he had a testimony that was real, he had a tender and compassionate spirit. And after Paul prayed over him and ordained him, he had some special gifts, according to 2 Timothy 1:6. And so, with all of that, with all of that, Paul chose him to go forth with him. Now, Silas was with him, but that wasn’t the same as Timothy.

You know, there’s wonderful fellowship in traveling with a seasoned veteran of the cross. I’ve done that in years past, many, many times. There is wonderful fellowship in traveling and in meetings and in campaigns with a seasoned veteran of the cross. But nothing can supersede the joy of bringing with you into the work a person who is just starting out in God’s work and to whom you can give some guidance as his life is developing. More than that, a young Christian provides rapport with people who are his peers and where you would not be able to communicate, for instance with younger people, in some cases, he can, and he can give his word of testimony to folk who wouldn’t listen to you. And so you multiply yourself that way, and you extend the reach, so to speak, of your own ministry by pouring yourself into a younger life.

And so, Paul did this. Silas was with him alright, but Timothy was the young man into whom he was going to pour his own life. So he had the fellowship of a seasoned veteran, Silas who was called a prophet. He could preach. But he had also the responsibility of building this young life in the work of the Lord. What a delight that must have been. So alright, he ordained him and also made sure that Timothy was not going to be an offense to Orthodox Jewish people as they went into these synagogues.

The next time we get together, we may talk about this. How far should you and I try not to offend people in our carrying out of the Christian work? It’s something to think about, and I may have a chance just to talk with you about it. You can think about it in advance if you want to. How far should you and I go in trying not to offend other people so far as their religious sensibilities are concerned if we try to do God’s work? We’ll think about it, okay?

We’re so grateful, dear Lord, that thou dost choose people. I’m glad you chose me and I’m grateful for the praying folk who made a difference in my life even before I was born, and since, of course. Dear Father, keep Thy hand upon us. Make today a good day as we live for Thee, we ask in the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen. Amen. God bless you, dear friend, all the way. That’s all for now.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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